No one was injured Monday in a bizarre traffic accident on U.S. Highway 190 that destroyed four feet of cement retaining wall on the Clear Creek Road overpass.
An 18-wheeler dump truck hauling gravel eastbound on U.S. 190 inadvertently tilted its full-size transport bed, causing it to collide with the bridge around 1 p.m., officials at the Texas Department of Transportation said.
While traffic lanes on and under the bridge were closed for hours, officials eventually reopened the bridge.
“The bridge is structurally sound,” TxDOT spokesman Ken Roberts said. “We have been able to barricade (the broken section of the bridge) so that vehicles will know to avoid it until we can get it fixed.”
Roberts said it will take several weeks to replace the missing section.
Traffic lanes were closed in both directions on U.S. 190 and Clear Creek Road for nearly four hours Monday as highway crews gathered debris from the one-vehicle accident.
“The bed of the truck was torn off and, because of the forward momentum, some of the gravel ended up on the bridge,” Roberts said.
“We are thankful that there was not more damage and no serious injuries on the bridge or U.S. 190.”
Parts of the vehicle also were deposited on the bridge, said Harpin Myers, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Officials did not say whether mechanical failure or operator error caused the truck bed to lift dangerously into the air.
“It was an unusual type of incident,” Roberts said. “This is not the first of this kind, but nonetheless, it is very unusual.”
The bridge met federal standards for height and integrity, Roberts said.
“The situation was not one that would have been avoided by having a higher bridge,” Roberts said. “We don’t plan on these types of situations occurring when we design a bridge like this.”